I read an article in the San Francisco Chronicle today about a fascinating television show developed by the creator of the Sims video games — Will Wright creates interactive TV show. The show, Bar Karma (airing on Current TV and online) has viewers developing and choosing plotlines, like a Choose Your Own Adventure story. In fact, the show’s website has many interactive features, including an amazing Storymaker tool.
I’m a big fan of the Choose Your Own Adventure genre, and have shared both high-tech and low-tech ways I’ve used it in the classroom (see The Best Places To Read & Write “Choose Your Own Adventure” Stories and The Best Sites For Collaborative Storytelling.
Learning about Bar Karma got me thinking if there was some way to use the concept in the classroom. This is what I’ve come up:
I’ve written a separate post sharing one simple way I have students write a collaborative story — see A Good & Simple Collaborative Storytelling Lesson.. In it, I announce a sequence of events (something funny happens, something bad happens, etc.) and small groups have to write about it. I’m thinking that next time I try this, I’ll ask students to write two different events for each one I list, and I’ll list fewer of them. Then, instead of just having students make a poster of their story, I’ll ask them to act it out, and after each scene they have to give the two options to the audience to vote on which one they should act out next.
This way, instead of just listening and writing, students also have to practice speaking.
It could get cumbersome, but if we keep the stories short, it could be fun. I’d certainly love to hear other ideas people might have, too…